Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Public asked to Weigh In on Wild Horse Gather Proposal

Staff report • December 17, 2008

The Bureau of Land Management's Winnemucca District has released a preliminary environmental assessment analyzing impacts associated with a proposal to gather and remove excess wild horses in the Buffalo Hills Herd Management Area about 80 miles north of Reno. The bureau is asking the public to provide input on the assessment by Dec. 24.

According to the assessment, vegetation and population monitoring shows the wild horse population is exceeding the rangeland's ability to sustain them over the long term.

The report goes on to say that sufficient winter forage is not available and resource damage is occurring because of overpopulation and continuing drought conditions.

The BLM proposes to capture and remove some 462 of the 650 horses estimated to be on the range management area.

There are an estimated 650 wild horses in the herd management area. BLM would leave 188 animals in the area, which is the low end of the established appropriate management level for that area of 188 to 314 animals.

Keeping the population within the appropriate level is to protect horse health and sustainability and help create a thriving natural ecological balance among wild horses, wildlife, vegetation, riparian-wetland resources, water resources and domestic livestock.

The plan and assessment are available online at: by clicking on the Winnemucca District on the map.

The public is encouraged to mail comments on the plan and assessment to Susie Stokke, Wild Horse and Burro Program Manager, BLM Nevada State Office, P.O. Box 12000, Reno, NV 89520.

The BLM reminds those responding with comments that submission may be made publicly available, including any personal identifying information such as e-mail address and phone number and address.

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